"Bitch on Wheels"

Mala

Member
Croatian, Croatia
Hello!
Could you please help me translate this phrase, i.e. explain the actual meaning and its' etimology perhaps?

Here's the sentence:

"And for those of you who are already running the show, we can help you lose that nickname, "Bitch on Wheels", and become the leader your employees deserve."

Thanks!
 
  • mzsweeett

    Senior Member
    USA
    USA, American English
    Wow,
    It's quite the rude phrase actually. It is referring to a certain group of women who are classified as "bitches" because of their nasty temperament. The "on wheels" part comes from them most likely being on a constant tyrade of their fellow co-workers. the total meaning of the phrase is a person who never stops complaining or harassing their fellow co-workers.
    I hope I have enlightened you...
    FYI.... do not use this phrase unless you are looking for a fight!!!
    Ciao,
    Sweet T.
    Mala said:
    Hello!
    Could you please help me translate this phrase, i.e. explain the actual meaning and its' etimology perhaps?

    Here's the sentence:

    "And for those of you who are already running the show, we can help you lose that nickname, "Bitch on Wheels", and become the leader your employees deserve."

    Thanks!
     

    Mala

    Member
    Croatian, Croatia
    Thanks a lot, Sweet T.
    The sentence is from a book I'm translating into Croatian, my native language. My idea of meaning of the phrase was something like you described here, but I'm looking for the best way to translate it into my language, and the word by word translation would be meaningless.
    So, I think I'm going to translate it as "a Bitch from Hell", as this "on wheels" part is probably some sort of an intensifier of the noun bitch.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Spot on, Mala.
    The OED agrees with you.
    For some reason completely beyond my understanding, this expression seems to have been used first in relation to women.

    "On wheels" - used as an intensive: in the extreme.
    1943 S. LEWIS Gideon Planish 127 Looks just like a sweet little ivory statue, but is she hell on wheels!
    1958 M. DICKENS Man Overboard iv. 59 It was his wife. She's a bitch on wheels, from what he tells me.

    Quotes taken from the OED.
     

    mzsweeett

    Senior Member
    USA
    USA, American English
    You are very welcome.... yes the "on wheels" part is the intensifier and most likely you will lose the idiomatic meaning if you try to "transliterate" it. I am of the impression that "from hell" would work just as well for you. They are, for the most part the same thing. On wheels generally means unending, while from hell refers to a raging maniac or of severe degree.

    I have found that quite a lot of negative connotations are first aimed at women.... hmmm this must mean the men who thought them up suffered from severe inferiority complexes! :D
    I wonder how we could go about solving this next enigma of idiomatic phrases???

    Sweet T.
     

    Mala

    Member
    Croatian, Croatia
    Well, I've googled up (?) the phrase "hell on wheels" and it turned out to be the name of the U.S Army 2nd Armored Division! So, that is probably where this intensifier "on wheels" comes from?
     
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